Acrobat 8 Professional

Acrobat 8 Professional

The new Combine Files wizard lets you combine different kinds of files into a single PDF or a PDF "package."

 

Acrobat 8 Professional is Adobe's tool for creating PDF (Portable Document Format) files, but it's much more than that. Acrobat Professional 8 is a versatile and complicated application, so on top of our own experience, we asked two other regular Acrobat Pro users to weigh in for this review: Don Fluckinger from PDFzone (www.pdfzone.com) and Duff Johnson of Document Solutions (www.document-solutions .com). If anyone knows Acrobat, it's Don and Duff.

 

The most noticeable change is a revamped user interface. "The average user will appreciate the streamlined interface and more accessible help and step-by-step tutorials," says Fluckinger. "Perhaps the most important single change," adds Johnson, "is the effort Adobe has put into helping new users get more out of Acrobat than just the very basics."

 

The other important new feature is the ability to bless PDFs so that the free Acrobat Reader can save a user-completed form before printing or submitting it to a server. "That's a big deal to a niche group of users and the software developers who serve them," Fluckinger says.

 

One somewhat surprising new feature of Acrobat 8 is Acrobat Connect, which you can use to hold browser-based Web conferences. The base version costs $39 per month or $395 per year for individual users, while Acrobat Connect Professional, which is scalable and includes additional features, has a license-based cost structure. Using Connect is easy, though we had to fiddle with settings to see each other.We were also able to share each other's screen, although the display was choppy even with high-speed Internet connections. Connect has room for improvement.

 

The bottom line. Acrobat 7 users will want to upgrade to Acrobat 8. Eventually.

 

COMPANY: Adobe
CONTACT: www.adobe.com
PRICE: $449, $159 upgrade
REQUIREMENTS: G3 or faster or Intel processor, Mac OS 10.4.3 or later, 256MB RAM, 1GB disk space
More user-friendly interface. Several incremental enhancements. Ability to save forms using Reader. Universal binary.
Even with a streamlined interface, Acrobat 8 is an intimidating app. Long (if not as steep) learning curve. Minor bugs.

 

 

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